| 22 May 2024, Wednesday |

Is smuggling making a comeback now that Syria’s fuel prices have risen?

After the economic and social systems in both nations crumbled, the unity of road and destiny between Syria and Lebanon is embodied in the prices of fuel, gas, and medicine these days. However, fuel continues to have the largest impact, especially as Syria has profited for more than 5 years from a subsidy system on fuels smuggled into the country in large quantities. However, lifting fuel subsidies in Lebanon resulted in a suspension of smuggling until Syria raised prices again today in order to maintain the price differential between the Lebanese and Syrian markets.

Syria increased the price of subsidized gasoline (90 octane) from around 750 Syrian pounds to 1,100 Syrian pounds per liter, implying that a can of subsidized gasoline in Syria costs 22,000 Syrian pounds, or about 6.2 dollars, assuming a dollar exchange rate of 3540 pounds on the Syrian black market.

The price of a can of gasoline in Lebanon has risen to around $12. (considering the average exchange rate of the dollar on the Lebanese black market is 27,500 pounds). However, the issue is not quantified by the price of subsidized gasoline in Syria, especially since the amounts of subsidized gasoline provided to each person are quite modest, ranging from 40 to 60 liters per month. As a result, it is difficult for families to be content with subsidized fuel use.

The price of unsubsidized fuel in Syria has climbed three times this year, comparable to subsidized gasoline, and one liter of unsubsidized gasoline now costs 3000 Syrian pounds. This means that a plate (20 liters) will cost you at most 60,000 Syrian pounds, or roughly $17.

As a result, a can of Syrian gasoline costs around $5.5 more than its Lebanese counterpart.

According to a source following the fuel file, the $5 price difference between Lebanon and Syria prevents smuggling between the two countries from returning because the cost of transportation is higher than the difference. However, individual smuggling to Syria, which does not exceed motorcycles and car tanks, is possible because the situation in the two countries is already collapsing.

  • Sawt Beirut International